I’ve been having a few days off from coping with all of this.
In a parallel universe, tonight is press night. In that parallel universe, the show in London for the rest of this week, before touring nationally right through until the end of June. On Saturday, also in London, we'll deliver the third of four large-scale choir projects, the fourth of which will be in Devon in May. In between tour dates, I’ll be working on the next draft of a new Christmas show.
In this universe, none of this is happening. Over the past week I’ve occasionally made joking reference to the fact that we're opening These Hills Are Ours this week. This jokey chipperness doesn’t even convince me, because every time I’ve tried it I’ve thought, oh, that’s interesting, now I want to cry.
To commemorate press night, we're doing a small sharing via Zoom, for family and close friends. This is so far removed from the universe we planned to be in tonight that it feels absurd, and absolutely necessary. If you find yourself hurled into a river in spate, you grab hold of anything you can.
We’re still rehearsing the show, because it will surely open at some point. We just have no idea when. Maybe, just maybe, the show will open before the end of the current tour in June. If not then, maybe the autumn. If not then, next year. Sometime.
But we have to face up to the possibility that the current situation may will still be in place over a year from now. Why wouldn’t it be? The virus isn’t going away until we’ve all had it, or there’s a vaccine. Neither of those will be true twelve months from now. There’s no point in adopting an “over by Christmas” mentality when there’s absolutely no basis for that belief. I hope it isn’t too trivialising of the mindset considered necessary by a Marxist in a Fascist prison when I say that the title of my blog has never felt more pertinent or necessary to me. But for the past few days, I’ve been finding the first part difficult.
Rehearsing the show is helping me. Routine is helping me. Running is helping me. Cooking is helping me. Reading is helping me. I veer between trying to resist the rush to productivity and recognising that writing is helping me. So I’m writing this.
Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will